Drug overdose deaths in CT doubled in 6 years

October 29, 2019

Opioid overdose deaths in Connecticut doubled in the past six years, largely driven by use of multiple drugs together, according to a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University.

Based on data from the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, there was a 221% increase in opioid-related drug overdoses from 2012 to 2018. The findings were published today in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

"It's not just about opioids alone," says T. Greg Rhee, assistant professor of medicine and public health at UConn Health. "This is about people using multiple drugs together increasingly commonly."

Fentanyl was involved in almost 80% of all overdose deaths in 2018 in Connecticut, but more than half of fentanyl-related deaths involved at least one other drug. Cocaine, alcohol, cathinone, heroin, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, MDMA or ecstasy, phencyclidine or angel dust, are appearing on the toxicology reports of drug overdose victims, and often in combination.

The majority of the overdose deaths in the time frame studied occurred among non-Hispanic whites, 79%; men, 74%; and people over the age of 35, 65%.

The rate of opioid overdose deaths in the state is higher than the national average. In 2017, Connecticut had the eighth highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the nation.

While many initiatives have been implemented to reduce opioid prescription misuse, understanding the potential role of polysubstance use in accidental overdose deaths may facilitate the development of new prevention and intervention strategies, the authors say.

Policymakers need to consider that people who abuse multiple drugs may have somewhat different motivations, and need different treatments and prevention efforts, than people who use opioids alone.
-end-
Rhee collaborated on the study with Joseph Ross, Robert Rosenheck, Lauretta Grau, of Yale University, and David Fiellin of Yale University and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

University of Connecticut

Related Alcohol Articles from Brightsurf:

Alcohol use changed right after COVID-19 lockdown
One in four adults reported a change in alcohol use almost immediately after stay-at-home orders were issued: 14% reported drinking more alcohol and reported higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who did not drink and those whose use stayed the same.

Changes in hospitalizations for alcohol use disorder in US
Changes over nearly two decades in the rate of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths from alcohol use disorder in the US were examined in this study.

Associations of alcohol consumption, alcohol-induced passing out with risk of dementia
The risk of future dementia associated with overall alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced loss of consciousness in a population of current drinkers was examined in this observational study with more than 131,000 adults.

New alcohol genes uncovered
Do you have what is known as problematic alcohol use?

Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice.

Sobering new data on drinking and driving: 15% of US alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol under the legal limit
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08 percent accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States.

Alcohol-induced deaths in US
National vital statistics data from 2000 to 2016 were used to examine how rates of alcohol-induced deaths (defined as those deaths due to alcohol consumption that could be avoided if alcohol weren't involved) have changed in the US and to compare the results by demographic groups including sex, race/ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status and geographic location.

Cuts in alcohol duty linked to 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England
Government cuts to alcohol taxes have had dramatic consequences for public health, including nearly 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England since 2012, according to new research from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).

Integrated stepped alcohol treatment for people in HIV care improves both HIV & alcohol outcomes
Increasing the intensity of treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) over time improves alcohol-related outcomes among people with HIV, according to new clinical research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet:Targets to reduce harmful alcohol use are likely to be missed as global alcohol intake increases
Increasing rates of alcohol use suggest that the world is not on track to achieve targets against harmful alcohol use, according to a study of 189 countries' alcohol intake between 1990-2017 and estimated intake up to 2030, published in The Lancet.

Read More: Alcohol News and Alcohol Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.